April 11 1855

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 Sender: Martha Haun
Sender Location: Georgetown, KY
Recipient: James Haun
Recipient Location: Nelson Creek, CA

 

Georgetown April the 11th 1855

My Dear husband–

I received your letter dated
Feb the 15- I had written one to you a bout ten days
before I got your- I told you in that one a bout
my getting home on the 3d of March & all a bout my self
we are all well & doing as well as we can these hard times
for it is said to be the hardest times that has ever been
known in Ky it is almost a famine here now there was
so little raised here last Sumer on account of the drouth
I told you in my last that I was a gain boarding at Pratts
that I had put lizzie to school in Midway & I keep Anna
with me. I find with all the economy that I can possibly
use- it is cheaper to board than to keep house I have tryed
it effectually & know it to be so though if times
had not of got so tight I should have continued to keep
house for the satisfaction of it- but I have got
the room that Mrs Holtzclaw ocupied when you left
a verry comfortable retired room & am verry comfort
ably situated– old Mrs Beaty was buried yesterday
she had an other stroke of Palsy. Ed Applegate
& Darinda Maddox gets married next wednesday. I
believe I told you in a former letter a bout Ellick
Carrick & queen Cantrell seeming off & getting
married- & a bout Frank Rankin Joining the reform
church Frank sticks up to his profession well. the church
is in a verry luke warm condition though we have
John Ganoe to preach one Sunday in the month for us-
there has been several familys had to break up & leave town
because they could not get provisions to eat every thing is so high
Johnny Beatty Rose & JH Thompson has left for the
present while times are so tight Mike Algiers
stables buggys hacks & horses was sold yesterday by his
creditors to pay his debts he is broke as industrious as he
has always been he is broke he says he can pay his
dets & have a thousand dollars left to begin with his
dwelling house has not been sold I suppose his farther
will keep that from being sold & Ben Finnell is
pretty badly bent. Harvy Graves house was
burnt down one knight last week with verry nearly
all of its contents some of the family did not save
one suit of clothes they get some few things out though
nothing of much importance- they discovered the fire at
two o cl in the knight- from all appearance it
must have been the work of an incendiary though they
do not like to think so. they do think it but do not to
say it. his loss is estimated at seven thousand dollars
besides the insurance it was insured for three
thousand & the furniture at one making four thousand
in all. he is a going to build immediately & build
nearer the road persons say he is going to build
a much finer house than the other was—
you spoke in your last letter of what Jack & Dave told
you WG said a bout your not paying him I do not
know whether it is so or no & ever if he did say so
I would not if I ever you suffer it to make any impresi
on my feelings nor would I ever attempt to pay him
& I would not hesitate to tell him so far I know to
my own certain knowledge that he justly owes you
more than that nor will he say half as much a
bout it nor care half as much as some of the balance
of them then that told you such stuf has no regard for
your feelings nor his I do most honestly think he is
the best hearted brother you have though you know
he always keeps him self in such a press for money
that makes him do things he would not otherwise do but
sant told me to write to you & put on your guard
I told sant that you owed him & he said in Justice you
did not & further said it would do bil no good if you
was to pay him that that it will only go with
the balance some of this days to pay his dets & that
a mount would not keep him from breaking no how
& he said you would be foolish to labor where you
are to make money to pay that bet it would be just like
throwing it a way for it would then do neither of you
any good where if you would keep it your self it would
do your family some good. Sant told me if I did not
write to you this way that I was not as smart as he
took me to be you must not say a word to any one
a bout what Sants says it would get him into
a fuss & he is mad & grumbling more than half
his time at bil any how he says just as many
hard things of bil now & more than than he used to & stil
makes his house his home but I know he talked as
hard of him to me as he could more than once I do
not know how to take any of this but this much I
know that do as you will they will talk hard of you
so I want you to do as the balance take care of your self
they will say hard things of you do as you may & you might
just as well givethem something as not they would think
just as much of you & more two & was I you I would
tell billy G plump & plain that I did not intend to
go to the mines & work & make my child work to get
money to pay him merely because he had a claim
according to law when if justice was done you do
not owe him one cent, he would think just as
much of you now keep this to your self but act it out for
your childs sake Sant asked me one day if I ever lived as easy a
life as Ray he said no by god nor you never will & I know
you never did & I know you never had every thing throw in to your
lap without ever asking for it as she has he laid to me you
see for your self that he would & does not make a slave of any
body even his own child to keep her humored he would
make every drop of kin he has labor to keep her up in her
laziness & then San says when you see & know he wou
ld do if you let Jim pay that money you would be
verry folish. I told him I could not prevent it if you
took a notion to pay he said I ought to try & you ought
to listen to it for bil would not stint 1 day for
all the kin children not excepted of any thing she might
want no matter how foolish to say any of their lives
I do say of a truth she is the laziest crossest dirtyiest
most extravegant woman I ever saw in all my life
before. he certainly has less satisfaction in his house
than any poor devil I ever saw I never felt as sorry for
any man I ever saw as I did for him oh how it made
me think of you how hard you would think of me always
if I ever got fretted and grumbled how mad it you would
always get at me for it & I always a doing & trying to
do something for my family & to see the contrast she does
nothing under the heavens nor takes no care no interest in
any thing no more than a stranger & then quarrels &
fusses continually & he puts up with in & trys to humor
her & never scolds at her let her do as she will I
know such a wife would run you mad but it is their
look out not ours I tell you these things for the purpose
of letting you know that your brothers that have wives
care only for themselves & their family that you may
act to them as they would to you but by this time
you certainly have found it out–now about
my going to cal. I came home fully determined
in my mind to go out there the first of may & I
have through & studdied every way a bout I think if I
had never of written to you a bout caming that you would
never said to me come well I would get to thinking
a bout you I would feel sometimes that I could not
stant it to be seperated from you & that I could brave
anything to get to you& then I would write & tell you
how I felt not thinking it would be the means of
any unhappiness on your part but I done wrong
I thought to you I could express my feelings & you
would not think hard of me but I have got so
some times now that I can think reasonably a bout it
& at other times a gain I canot reason my feelings
rule but oh it is one constant effort on my part
to subdue feelings & let reason & interest gain the
ascendancy. I have done it to some extent as I
said before I had determined to make an effort to go
& to keep an eye to what would be to our interest at the
same time it was to make money that we made
the sacrifice of parting in the first place & we
have gone through the worst part of it will to
sell the negroes now they would not bring much
over half as much as they would have done one year
a go for they are down now verry low so that
would not do at all to think of such a thing now
we would loose two much & for me to go
leave them it would be almost like throwing
a way that much money to go some where else
to make it I thought at one time I could
do it but after trying I found it not so
easy to leave them in the hands of a
man that had nothing would not do
how easy they could be run off & sold &
we never hear of them & for the man to say
they fun of well if he had no property we

[sideways]
he had learnt that while I was a way the winter & two since you have left

[upsidedown]
tell my child to write to me when I told Sam & bet I had a
notion of going to Cal Sam said he had rather die almost than for me to
go & leave them he said it was bad enough when I was here for them to get a
long & they could not do it all without me that whenever I were a way

[sideways]
they was public property & he said they was a plenty of people that envied others their
negroes & would delight to abuse them when ever they had it in their power he said we

would be at the end of our rope & a gain to
leave them with a responsible man them sort
of man does not like to take such a responsability
& if they would consent to do so I know people
well enough to know that they would care verry little
whether they lived or died so I could not feel
satisfied to leave that much property at the
mercy of people that could not nor would not
feel much interest in our wellfare not enough
to put them selves to much trouble whether we
made or lost this is a verry selfish world I
have long since learnt by my going out there
it would make us run the risk of loosing more
than we would probably make then why when
money is our object place our property in jeop
ardy I think it would be verry unwise under
all the circumstances for me to go & leave it
though as I said before I was so anxious to be
with you that I thought I could just as well go
as not until I began to make an effort to go
than I saw it was not so easy done without risk
ing two much then will you think of all these things
& not think hard of me for expressing the wish I
did to be with you or causing you to feel so bad
as you said it did oh have you forgotten that I
am a mother & a devoted wife that canot controle
my feelings as it regards my love for you so or to
be always on my guard how I speak to you or always
& at all times & at all times to take a deliberate view of
what would be to our interest. you speak of
your hard & unpleasant life I know it & it is
that that has ever made me feel that I wanted
to share it with you it makes me so sorry to
think of it that I feel like I could live on
bread & water if you & John were only happy
I care but little for my self God knows it is
for you I have felt & on your account I wrote
a bout going to you thinking I could be of
some little comfort to you if I were with you
I am willing to sacrifice my self for you at any
time but I do not think when money is the object
that we ought to sacrifice our property here to go
there to make it it is not selfishness in me nor
because I do not want to go but because I do
not see how it is possible for me to go the way
I am situated with out runing the risk of two
much loss so I will say me more a bout
going until I get further orders from you but
will rest content to hold on here & take care
of what we have here until you feel satisfied
to come home believing it to be the best thing I
can do & oh do not think that I am enjoying
life as you seem to do in your last letter while
you are toiling & suffering privations you wrote
so cold & seemed to blame me & think that I was
taking my pleasure oh God have you forgotten
that there is no pleasure for a lone woman as I am
now with none to care for me but many yet
many that would delight to hurt my feelings
yes it is an unfriendly world & I am a lone in it
a trying to bear up & plylossaphiyse with my
self to bear my lot for your sake & my childs &
then for you to write me such a letter  as the last
one was blaming me & intimating to me that I
am living by pleasure while you are living by
faith then it was so cold not one word of affec
tion or tenderness (yes then anxiously looked for letters
& oh what I read it how it pierced my verry
soul you my husband it put me to bed for
three days it seemed to me that you had lost
all the love you ever had for me not to let me have
a word of tenderness or love came in your letters for
it is all I get or expect of love or tenderness from
you. the cold selfish friendship of the world
has almost froze my heart & when I get a letter how
anxious I am to read it & look for love & tenderness form
you & how my heart delights to dwell on any little
expression of tenderness be it ever so slight but
in your last I was made to feel that you had
grown cold towards me & I felt for a time that
I was ready to die that for you I lived for you I
give up every thing else on earth & for you I
give up every  thing else on earth & for you I suffered
& then to think that you had ceased to care for me
but I do not believe it now I canot I have so
much confidence in you that  it can only be lost
with life then oh think of me as I am a poor lonely
heart stricken desolate woman & not living in pleas
ure as you intrated but only trying to live at
al. please dont write me a cold letter & blame me so in it for I live or
die upon the contents of your letters my God you are my all on this earth to you
I cling & if you grow cold I am truely without one on earth to look to
or cling to for I shut my self out as much as I can from
the world & live on the hope of meeting you a gain & in
the discharge of my duty as near as I can this is truly all
the comfort I have to do wright & hope for a reward
I read a letter from Larue to his wife yesterday & it
was full of love & sympathy & tenderness & in the same
evening I read one from Laura Stiller to her mother it
was the same way expressing the tenderest regard &
feelings– & oh when I read them & thought of my
own letter what a difference how it made my
heard sink with in me & made me think what have
I ever done or even been more than they that I must
have to bear so much more in the way of coldness—
but my sweet husband I do not believe you wrote that way
to wound my feelings oh no it would break  my heart were
I to believe you did not love me nor cared for my feelings as to
trouble or being unpleasantly situated & having unpleasant things
to bear with my situation is by far more unpleasant than
yours it is true I have more comforts than you have but as
for work I idle no time not as much by half as I did when
you was here & you have nothing but your work to anoy you
but oh think for one moment of my situation & my feelings & you
canot envy me my pleasure. I am not as a widow even at liberty
to seek society & enjoy it & more I have no task for it for my
treasure & my love is on the earth & my heart is with them & I
sit in solitude keeping all my feelings & love locked up in my own
bosom waiting the time to come when I can throw my self
once more in your protecting arms and pour out on your
bosom my soules joys & sorrows for my feelings must
all stay locked in my own brest until I do see you I have
none to tell my secrets to no one byt you to confide
in. I can & will cheerfully bear my situation if it
is to be to our mutual benifit & you will give me a wad
of encouragement in your letters for I stand much more in
need of encouragement than you do for mine is the hardest
lot of the two & if you will only think impartially you
must know it to be so I am a helpless woman & have to
be strictly on my guard in all things & at all times while
you are a man & can do as you please & do not have that lonely
helpless feeling that a woman has… but I will now
say to you to wind up all this long letter that if I have said
one word to hurt your feelings in any way. I pray you forgive it
for I would rather suffer any thing than to write one word to
wound your feelings Oh God I meant to comfort you & you to comfort
me let us try to comfort each other in our letters for I can say of a ruth it my
greatest comfort a letter from you & now let me say to you to exercise
your own Judgement a bout how long you stay & what you do & it will
all be wright with me I would not under any consideration have you
leave on my account until you are satisfied to do so lay your own
plans & do what you think best & if you love me stil & wont blame me
when I am doing the best I know how it will all be wright with me
I canot go with the encubrance I have here & be any thing like
satisfied or feel like I was doing my duty- as for any of my kin I
would be better without any for hey are any thing else but a satisfaction
I will write you a gain soon & tell you how Moore & liz treated me &
little lizzie you may look for a better the next mail after you get this

[upside down]
& now my precious husband & child keep in good heart & do just
what ever you think best for on your judgement I rely knowing it
is so much better than mine & if you only write to me that you are in good
spirits & not hurt with me I am satisfied & will be & do the best

[sideways]
I can write me soon dearest I dreamed I was in your arms the other knight oh how happy
but it was all  a dream
I remain your devoted & true wife until death,

M. Haun

 

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